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Falco, Perrette, Chuck Lorre sitcom set for new CBS season

NEW YORK — Broadcaster CBS is pushing the boundaries — gently — next season, as it and other networks navigate the rise of streaming. A change-of pace sitcom from “The Big Bang Theory” creator Chuck Lorre and a police drama starring Edie Falco of “The Sopranos” glory will join a lineup that also brings former CBS stars back into the fold.

Among the comeback kids is Billy Gardell, who played opposite Melissa McCarthy in CBS’ ”Mike & Molly” and stars this fall in Lorre’s “Bob Hearts Abishola.” Gardell plays a Detroit compression sock salesman who falls for his Nigerian-born cardiac nurse. His co-star is Nigerian actress Folake Olowofoyeku, whose credits include “Transparent.”

CBS Corp. executive David Nevins described the sitcom as “a different flavor” for Lorre but true to his brand, which includes CBS’ ”Mom” as well “The Big Bang Theory,” which departs Thursday after 12 seasons.

“Bob Hearts Abishola” is about “two adults in middle-age who are sort of unexpected,” Nevins said, and resonates with what he called “Norman Lear-ish themes,” a reference to the groundbreaking producer of “All in the Family.”

Other familiar CBS faces: Pauley Perrette, a former “NCIS” fan favorite, goes for laughs in the midseason sitcom “Broke”; Patricia Heaton (”Everybody Loves Raymond”) stars as a late-blooming medical intern in the comedy “Carol’s Second Act,” and Marg Helgenberger (”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) is part of the courthouse drama “All Rise.” The latter two are fall entries.

Falco, who played a mobster’s wife in “The Sopranos” and a drug addict in “Nurse Jackie,” shifts gears in midseason’s “Tommy,” playing a former NYPD officer who becomes the first female police chief in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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